In mid 1973, Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon was far and away the most popular album on both sides of the Atlantic, and I never tired of hearing it played at Charlie White’s studio. But I was becoming increasingly peeved that, due to whatever mundane circumstances, I kept missing a track that I thought was particularly interesting. It wasn’t a crowd pleaser by any means, but it was conceptually daring in the context of the album’s themes of life and death, relentless time, and eternity.
Alone at the studio one day, still working on Red Nails, I played both sides of Moon while becoming ever more agitated, as there was no sequential cue for the tune I was thinking of. Then, on a second play through, giving the album my full attention, I had to concede that the song was not on Dark Side of the Moon after all. I was baffled.
Let me say here that I acknowledge the apparent triviality of this anecdote. I’ve come to realize, however, that it is the small scale incidents of extrasensory perception (sometimes called the “sixth sense”) that are the least likely to be questioned. Later on, in clock time, when a precognized event has actualized, it is very often the case that the original perception has faded over time, like watercolors in sunlight. In the elusive world of hidden realities, little things mean a lot.
I knew some of the lyrics of this song, and I could hum the melody. I could “hear” in my head the strumming, double-tracked, acoustic guitars along with Roger Waters’ whispery voice. I owned no Pink Floyd records myself, so I hadn’t confused one album with another, and the only Floyd album at the studio was Moon, so there was no chance of confusion there either.
Michael Doret had most of the Floyd’s albums prior to Moon and, as I’d been staying at his house for a few weeks earlier in the year, I thought there was a chance that the song was on one of those older albums. Perhaps the tune was playing at some point and I’d only subliminally heard it in the background, insinuating slightly over or under a conversation and, due to any number of variables, I had mixed it up with the Moon tracks.
A few days later I engaged Michael in a conversation about the music of Pink Floyd. I kept it general, as I didn’t want to explain myself overmuch. But when the moment seemed appropriate, I mentioned how I liked a certain strange and melancholy tune by Waters. I hummed some of the melody and, strumming an air-guitar, sang the lyrics as I remembered them. Michael didn’t recognize the tune at all, asking me which album it was on. I didn’t know, of course.